noun, often attributive
\ˈstär \

Definition of star 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a natural luminous body visible in the sky especially at night

b : a self-luminous gaseous spheroidal celestial body of great mass which produces energy by means of nuclear fusion reactions

2a(1) : a planet or a configuration of the planets that is held in astrology to influence one's destiny or fortune usually used in plural

(2) : a waxing or waning fortune or fame her star was rising

b obsolete : destiny

3a : a conventional figure with five or more points that represents a star especially : asterisk

b : an often star-shaped ornament or medal worn as a badge of honor, authority, or rank or as the insignia of an order

c : one of a group of conventional stars used to place something in a scale of value

4 : something resembling a star was hit on the head and saw stars

5a : the principal member of a theatrical or operatic company who usually plays the chief roles

b : a highly publicized theatrical or motion-picture performer

c : an outstandingly talented performer a track star

d : a person who is preeminent in a particular field


starred; starring

Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to sprinkle or adorn with stars

2a : to mark with a star as being preeminent

b : to mark with an asterisk

3 : to feature in the most prominent or important role the movie stars a famous stage personality

intransitive verb

1 : to play the most prominent or important role

2 : to perform outstandingly



Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or being a star received star billing

2 : of outstanding excellence : preeminent a star athlete

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from star


starless \ ˈstär-​ləs \ adjective
starlike \ ˈstär-​ˌlīk \ adjective

Examples of star in a Sentence


They gazed up at the stars. There are billions of stars in the universe. I'm glad we didn't use the tent. It's so much nicer to sleep outside under the stars. The restaurant was awarded four stars for excellence. Critics give the movie three stars.


The new television series stars a famous movie actress. a concert starring some of the biggest names in the business He starred in both baseball and football when he was in college. She starred for the basketball team last year. This restaurant is starred in the guidebook.


looking for star actors to play the leads
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Lindy Remigino was an Olympic track star who won two gold medals in 1952. Staff Report,, "U.S. Olympic Team, USA Track And Field Honor Lindy Remigino On Social Media," 13 July 2018 Rock Star Karaoke Be a star for the night and perform with a live band. 9 p.m.-midnight. Mary Lou Cruz,, "Fort Lauderdale area events July 18-28," 13 July 2018 Mbappé Mania French forward Kylian Mbappé, 19, is the breakout star of this World Cup. Sean Gregory, Time, "32 Teams Entered, 2 Remain. Your Ultimate Guide to the World Cup Final," 13 July 2018 Jackson became a star at Denton Ryan High School, and was the New York Yankees' eighth-round pick in 2005. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Unable to find trade, Rangers part ways with Denton native Jackson," 11 July 2018 While decades ago, drivers didn't spend a lot time with one another or communicate much other than at the race track, that's not true of today's IndyCar stars. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: IndyCar is just too dangerous for nasty rivalries," 7 July 2018 Neymar being Neymar The most expensive player in the world has had a strong tournament so far and is the biggest star whose team is still alive., "What to watch for in today's World Cup quarterfinal matchups," 6 July 2018 Until recently Mendes was a popular teen pop star in the vein of Ed Sheeran, singing about crushes, heartbreak and unrequited love. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "With new songs, Shawn Mendes makes a mighty impression at Summerfest in Milwaukee," 5 July 2018 Happily, the Rustic Goat hot pot ($20) was packed with flavor and was, for me, the star of the menu. Anchorage Daily News, "A revamped menu of comfort food at Rustic Goat restaurant," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The summer theater production based on the 1988 film starring Tom Hanks will be presented July 19-20 at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. Ted Slowik, Daily Southtown, "Slowik: Homewood takes spotlight on 'WGN Morning News' live block party broadcast," 13 July 2018 Viewers first encountered Dracula’s complicated family in 2012's Hotel Transylvania, which creator Todd Durham has since transformed into a lucrative animated franchise starring Adam Sandler and Selena Gomez. Michael Waters, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Hotel Transylvania 3': Meet the Voices Behind Each Animated Character," 13 July 2018 Cate Shortland has been tapped to direct a standalone Black Widow movie starring Scarlett Johansson, making Shortland the first solo woman to direct a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Devan Coggan,, "Cate Shortland to direct Marvel's Black Widow solo movie," 13 July 2018 Dennis Kelly’s harrowing solo show, starring a translucent Carey Mulligan, puts away its toys. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "12 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 12 July 2018 Audiences have fallen in love with The Kissing Booth, the Beth Reekles's Wattpad short story turned YA novel and most recently adapted into a wildly-popular Netflix Original starring Joey King, Joel Courtney, and Jacob Elordi. Hanna Lustig, Teen Vogue, "“The Kissing Booth” Sequel: Everything We Know About the Possible Movie," 12 July 2018 Written by Jessie Nelson, composed by Sara Bareilles, and based on the 2007 movie starring Keri Russell, Waitress is a sweet-as-pie musical about domestic abuse and adultery. Tony Adler, Chicago Reader, "In the world of Waitress, almost all sins can be forgiven with a song," 11 July 2018 Kicking off the annual Lions Club Alpine Fest at 5 p.m. July 20 in Lake Zurich is the annual water fights, starring regional firefighters. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Water fights, parade still going strong at 73rd annual Alpine Fest," 11 July 2018 Getting Started on Tuesday Nights In May 2011, ABC gave a series order to Last Man Standing, starring Tim Allen as Mike Baxter. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "How ‘Last Man Standing’ Went From Hit Sitcom, to Canceled, to Revived For Its Seventh Season," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Luc Belaire champagne has compiled an all-star lineup of hip-hop compatriots as global ambassadors, which include A Boogie, G Herbo, Dave East and Rick Ross, who joined the brand back in 2013. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Dave East Teams Up With Rick Ross for 'Fresh Prince of Belaire': Listen," 6 July 2018 Guests will be treated to an all-star celebrity lineup featuring Mike Colter (Jessica Jones), William Shatner (Star Trek), Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), and so many more. Mike Stocker,, "Video: Florida Supercon fans show off their stunning costumes," 14 July 2018 The season kicked off with their star role in uncle Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding. Erin Hill,, "Did Princess Charlotte Tell Off Photographers at Prince Louis' Christening?," 12 July 2018 The model walked barefoot with a black bikini top and floral wrap skirt while her pop star beau wore a white tank, black Adidas shorts, and white slippers. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Hailey Baldwin, Justin Bieber, and His New Mustache Had a Beach Date Ahead of July Fourth," 5 July 2018 Svechnikov is expected to go second overall to the Carolina Hurricanes and has star potential. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "The NHL Draft is in town. Here are 5 names to know and when the Stars pick," 21 June 2018 Also, Heimlich and UW shortstop Levi Jordan were star teammates on Puyallup High's unbeaten Washington 4A state champions in 2014. Ron Richmond For The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "Oregon State baseball brings recent College World Series experience into opener against North Carolina," 12 June 2018 Gerard Piqué, the team’s star center-forward, tells me. Vivienne Walt, Fortune, "Inside FC Barcelona's Global Football Empire," 21 Mar. 2018 He was picked to play in the All-Star Game on Tuesday night in Washington but was replaced, because he is scheduled to pitch Sunday against the Tigers on the final day before the all-star break. Stephen Ruiz,, "Justin Verlander, Kate Upton expect first child," 14 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'star.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of star


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1592, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for star


Middle English sterre, from Old English steorra; akin to Old High German sterno star, Latin stella, Greek astēr, astron

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about star

Statistics for star

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for star

The first known use of star was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for star



English Language Learners Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any one of the objects in space that are made of burning gas and that look like points of light in the night sky

: a star or planet especially in a certain position that is believed in astrology to influence people's lives

: something (such as a symbol or medal) with five or more points that represents or suggests a star



English Language Learners Definition of star (Entry 2 of 2)

: to play the most important role in a movie, play, etc.

: to have (someone) as the most important performer

: to perform extremely well


\ˈstär \

Kids Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : any of the heavenly bodies except planets which are visible at night and look like fixed points of light

2 : a figure or object with five or more points that represents or suggests a star in the sky

3 : a very talented or popular performer a movie star

4 : a planet that is believed in astrology to influence someone's life She was born under a lucky star.

5 : the principal member of a theater or opera company


starred; starring

Kids Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to mark with a star or an asterisk as being special or very good

2 : to present in the role of a star The show stars my favorite actor.

3 : to play the most important role She will star in a new play.

4 : to perform in an outstanding manner She starred in soccer this season.



Kids Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : being favored or very popular the teacher's star pupil a star athlete

2 : being of outstanding excellence a star chef

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on star

What made you want to look up star? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!